Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pearls

Dear Diary,

It's hard to believe, but it's already the start of another new year. I remember when I was a little girl. The days crawled like weeks, weeks lasted for months, and years were something I could not even comprehend. But now as I am in the dimming years of my life, the years seem to pass as quickly as the weeks once did, and days last no longer than the blink of an eye. I put my hand to my neck, and feel the silken caress of my pearl necklace, and there is a memory for every pearl.

I remember holding my daughter in my arms for the very first time. Her tiny red face was the ugliest little thing I'd ever seen, with those eyes scrunched up against the light, and her teeny hands clenched themselves convulsively around my finger, but I stared at her in awe, wondering at how exquisite she was, how perfect, and how God could bring such beauty into the world. Another pearl. I see my daughter holding her daughter in the hospital room. "Mom," she whispered, "she was so ugly when she was first born, but she was still so beautiful."

Another pearl, and I feel my husband's strong hands clasping my own. "For better or for worse," he was repeating. "Until death us do part," but he and I both knew that nothing, not even death, would ever part us. And here is another pearl, and I see him dying, but even now he is never very far away from me. Why, I can almost feel his hand lightly touching my cheek.

Here is another pearl, and I remember lightly floating down the stairs in a poofy pink dress. Mom and Dad were waiting downstairs, along with my prom date. He carefully pinned on the corsage of white roses, and I pretended to be embarrassed while Mom and Dad took pictures, but I was secretly happy that they loved me so much that they wanted to share in my joy and excitement.

And another pearl, and I see a row of graduation pictures lining the hall at the family home. When Will graduated from high school, Loren and I took him out to the lake. We just sat around and talked. Well, we talked and drank what seemed like a lot of beer, but probably wasn't. The three of us always stuck together, the “young'uns“, as Jean, Mae, and Eddie always condescendingly referred to us.

Here's another pearl, and this one tells me to remember when I laughed so much I cried, when I cried so much that it hurt, when I hurt so much that I could hardly move. It tells me to hold on to all of my memories, those that are beautiful and those that are sorrowful.

I've had a rich, full, wonderful life. It has been something of a marvel, and I can only imagine what adventures lie ahead of me in the next world. In the meantime, I hope I live to be a hundred and one, and have two or three more grandchildren to spoil and take care of. I hope to do a little more traveling this year. And I think that I shall even tempt the fates, and make a resolution or two. Surely I'm not quite perfect yet. I'll do a little soul-searching, and see what I can come up with that.

Good night, dear diary.

(Written by Faith Stencel)

2 comments:

Clover said...

Dang, Faith, you made me cry. I really didn't want to ruin my make-up today. And you always say you can write short stories. Perhaps you are succeeding here because this isn't a short story to you but a series of moments in a life.

Amin said...

Faith, I love the way you talk about a memory for each pearl on her necklace. That's a nice way to put it.

I see Jacquie is living a full life on these pages. A tender and touching tribute to a sister.